PAS 2080: the emissions standard that is a gamechanger for construction

News Detail






World Economic Forum

Infrastructure is essential: We cannot live without it. But we must decarbonize it. According to the UN Environment Programme, our buildings, energy systems, water, waste and communications systems are responsible for 79% of emissions. We need to deliver systemic transformation or we will not meet the 1.5-2°C global warming target set by the Paris Agreement.

How to achieve this is set out in PAS 2080, the world’s first international specification for cutting carbon emissions arising from the construction, operation and use of the built environment.

PAS 2080 was launched in 2016. Its focus then was infrastructure. But over the course of 2022, its scope has been radically expanded. It will be relaunched in March 2023, covering buildings as well as infrastructure. It will show the whole value chain – asset owners, designers, constructors and product/materials suppliers – how to work together to systemically drive carbon emissions towards zero.

The update recognizes that deep and ultimately absolute carbon reduction requires:

  • Strong leadership with a clear vision for decarbonization supported by values and policy.
  • A systems approach that removes blockers, unlocks enablers and realizes synergies between organizations and sectors.
  • Collaboration across the value chain and between organizations, with risk and reward fairly shared.
  • A whole-life view of built environment assets, networks and systems that accounts for interventions to maintain, repair, repurpose, adapt, upgrade, expand and ultimately repurpose and/or remove them.

PAS 2080 recognizes the need for climate resilience alongside carbon reduction: Infrastructure and buildings required to achieve carbon reductions must be resilient to the physical impacts of climate change; and adaptive or defensive measures to provide resilience must take account of carbon emissions.

More info

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